Don’t Give Up When God Does Not Show Up

Today, I want to share a valuable lesson on prayer.

In the tenth chapter of Daniel a very encouraging lesson unfolds about prayer and God’s means of answering prayer.

God’s promise to those who pray in faith is:

“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and wondrous things you do not know” Jeremiah 33:3 HCSB.

Therefore, we have assurance that God hears us when we pray.

Faith is a component of prayer.  Many who go through a form of prayer have lost faith apparently failing to receive an answer.  DON’T GIVE UP!

There are scriptural reasons given for unanswered prayer as well as reasons for a delay in receiving an answer to our prayers.  David wrote in Psalm 66:18 KJV:

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

James wrote:

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” James 4:3 NIV.

Other hindrances that keep God from answering prayer are a condemning heart … an unforgiving spirit and a faithless attitude.  Jesus said,

“But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” Matthew 6:15 NIV.

I have often heard that God has three answers to prayer:

  1. YES.  Prayer seems easy when the answer is an immediate YES.
  2. NO.   We might often question a NO but when the answer is NO, if we accept it by faith we will learn that God, as our wise, benevolent, heavenly Father, is preparing us to receive what He knows is best for us.
  3. WAIT.  Perhaps the most difficult answer for us to deal with is to WAIT.

Whatever God’s answer, even when waiting is for an extended period, God’s ultimate purpose is to teach us how to trust him for what is best for us.

Daniel had prayed for understanding concerning a great vision from God related to future events.  Here is a devout man of purpose and prayer calling upon God whom he knew through personal relationship to be the prayer answering God.

Daniel knew him as the God who had delivered him in the lion’s den and had delivered his friends and companions, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the devouring flames of a fiery furnace yet, on this occasion the answer to Daniel’s prayer was not apparent for a very long time.

Did Daniel “give up?”

No, he did not “give up.”

Daniel held on!

Suddenly, on the twenty first day after he first offered his prayer, Gabriel who Daniel had seen in an earlier vision appeared to him declaring:

“Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.  As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed” Daniel 9:22-23 NIV.

Jesus was a person of prayer and a teacher as to how to pray.  However, the answer to his own personal prayers was not always immediate.  In a biblical account, Jesus encountered Satan in the wilderness for a period of forty days and found the answer to Satan’s challenges by reminding him of God’s Word.

How many times through patiently waiting have you found God’s best for you was not to grant your petition immediately?  There are times when instant answers to prayer are necessary (my preferred way); however, the benefits of waiting on God or simply waiting in God’s presence cannot be overestimated.  The periods of getting to know God more intimately are of more benefit than immediately receiving answers from God.  He knows the concerns we pray about are important to us and according to Matthew 6:8 NIV:

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

He delights in granting our temporal needs.

Another important lesson to learn in prayer as we wait for him to answer is for us to

“Hold firmly to the faith we profess” … “So that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” Hebrews 4:14b and 16b NIV.

Faith operates in the present tense; nevertheless, the results of believing faith are not always immediately evident.  God’s promised Messiah was a long time in coming.  The question was often asked:

“Where is this ‘coming’ he promised”
2 Peter 3:4 NIV?

However,

“When the time had fully come, God sent his Son” Galatians 4:4a NIV.

God is always present IN TIME, and God is always ON TIME.  He may not appear early; however, he will never be late.

Never give up!


PREVIOUS ENTRIES: